WWII Reenactments 2017

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Tiki Tom, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,927
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I have to admit that I find myself drifting towards being interested in something that I would have once dismissed as grown-up boys playing at war. Now I'm starting to realize the draw of wanting to get things "exactly right", appreciating and honoring the history, and enjoying the company of similarly enthusiastic individuals. Not to mention just wanting to submerge myself in the 1940s for a day. This description (and photos) of an event called "Weldonkrieg" struck me as very cool and I was impressed by the level of organization that must have been involved.

    https://petapixel.com/2017/04/24/playing-world-war-ii-photographing-ultra-realistic-reenactment/

    I would be interested in seeing your activities (or other events). Up front, I admit that I'm still a gawker at this phase.
     
  2. p51

    p51 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Well behind the front lines!
    No re-enactment is perfect, just know that before you go to one. The people in it are often grossly overweight or too old to play the part anymore.
    Many often bring the things they want, even though they know it's inaccurate, citing the costs of the real thing as reasons not to bring the right items.
    I know this well, as I've been in that hobby since the late 1980s.
     
  3. EngProf

    EngProf A-List Customer

    Messages:
    476
    As P51 says, WWII reenacting can be a good or bad experience based on the nature of the unit that you get involved with. I've been in it almost as long as P51 and I can say that for me the good has far outweighed the bad.

    I was very fortunate that I'm in exactly the right place in the US to be involved in WWII reenacting, which helps with the positive experiences.
    I'm in Nashville, which is a short distance from Ft. Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne. This leads to our unit being affiliated with the 101st Airborne Museum at Ft. Campbell, which in turns leads to a heavy involvement by active-duty or former 101st soldiers (about 2/3 of our unit). Since we are a Museum unit and participate in Museum educational activities we have a strong code of honor that we get all the equipment and uniforms as close to 100% correct as possible.

    Also, during WWII the Army chose Middle Tennessee as the area for training units which would be fighting in Europe, since the terrain is VERY similar to Western Europe, so that things look very right in terms of "battle" areas.

    I say the above with a little bit of bragging, but mostly to say that if you get in a good unit with good leadership (real veterans) you can learn a lot about military field-craft and also about some less-serious military issues. Our Lt. in the reenacting unit is a real sergeant in the 101st and I have learned a lot from him and the other combat veterans.

    One semi-humorous, not directly-combat-related, thing I learned is that it's not easy to eat in pitch darkness. I could have learned that at home by just turning out all the lights, but it never occurred to me to do so. We were in an outpost at night out in the woods and each one of us went back in turn to the company CP to get our mess kits filled. Then I had to carry it back to the outpost through the woods in the dark without spilling it (a pain to do). Then I had to eat it by just poking at the food and trying by feel to figure out what, if anything, I had on the end of the spoon.
    It was almost funny, but that's the sort of details that you can pick up by reenacting, especially if you are not a miltary veteran yourself. I was a Boy Scout, and we camped out and ate in the woods, but we could have lanterns, flashlights, and campfires.

    Another big positive is, as you say, conversing with other military-history enthusiasts who enjoy talking about things that happened in 1944.

    (Are you really in Vienna, Austria? If so, there are some good European reenacting units over there.)

    I'd highly recommend "joining up"...
     
  4. green papaya

    green papaya One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,243
    Location:
    California, usa
    the tattoos so many people have these days will also look inaccurate, especially on the women

    the older over weight people should portray CIVIL DEFENSE / AIR RAID WARDEN / CIVILIAN
     
  5. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,927
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
     
  6. EngProf

    EngProf A-List Customer

    Messages:
    476
    You have probably already done so, but the entry right above this thread is an example of what I'm getting at concerning European reenacting and WWII events.
     
  7. Heeresbergführer

    Heeresbergführer Familiar Face

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    The Mountains of Life
    Grüß Di' Tom,

    I've been reenacting since 1977 when I was a senior in high school. Back in those days, many people were still wearing original uniforms because there were no or very few reproductions! I've been through my fair share of reenactments and living history events both here in the USA and over in Europe ( I lived in Germany for 10 years during the 1980's).

    By far, the most realistic event I've been to is Project Edelweiss in 2010. Here's a write-up and photos that I shot back then:

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/reenacting-10-000-feet.54617/

    And a video I produced:

    https://vimeo.com/home/myvideos

    Bergheil und Horrido!

    Patrick
     
    Mr. Godfrey and Distant People like this.

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